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Smithy

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Hi

I have been asked to turn some stair spindles. The client will provide the original and the wood. I have no problem turning them but I am useless at pricing. Any thoughts would be most appreciated

Many thanks

Smithy
 

RobinBHM

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Probably the thing is estimating how long to do each spindle, then times by a shop rate. Ive no idea how long a spindle would take though.
 

Inspector

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Go to anyplace that sells stair spindles for house construction, lumberyards and home centres here, and price higher.

Pete
 

RobinBHM

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The problem is that turned softwood spindles are probably under £5.00 each
 

Smithy

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Hi

Thanks for the reply. The people concerned want me to copy turn six to match the originals which are in oak. They have looked everywhere but cannot find anyone prepared to do it. I suspect some would bump the price up in this situation. But I am useless at pricing. I always think the making is easier than the pricing.

Smithy
 

Random Orbital Bob

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Given what you're offering is unique ie they're custom made, the fair way to price it is figure out what your time is worth to you by the hour, add on the cost of the blanks (kiln dried oak wont be cheap) and multiply your rate by the time it takes to make them. You'll need to factor in a % for failures with copy turning too because it's close on inevitable unless you're very unusual. (Unusually good that is).

I cant see there being much change out of a £100 to be honest and that's without researching the material cost.
 

finneyb

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The price then becomes say 50% of the cost of replacing all the spindles that are in place. Including the fitting.

There are two ways of pricing a job:
1. Time and materials
2. What the market will bear

Brian
 

RogerP

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The client will provide the original and the wood.
If the wood they are supplying is satisfactory and it's simple spindle turning I'd charge £25 per hour.
 

NickWelford

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Your hourly rate should ideally contain an amount for capital investment in lathe and tools, and disposables such as finish, sandpaper etc, and electrickery. £25 per hour sounds very reasonable.
 

Richard Findley

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Hi Smithy

Oak spindles, labour only, depending on thickness and level of detail, I charge £10-£12 each, plus postage/carriage.

HTH

Richard
 

Random Orbital Bob

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And typically how long would it take you to make one Richard? Also, as a professional would you factor in any assumptions for screwing up one or two assuming you were given an original for the design? That's not meant to suggest you're not an excellent turner since you're very clearly a brilliant turner (you've demo'd at our club before now many times). It's simply based on the knowledge that copy turning can be a bit tricky.

If you don't want to respond to this on the "trade secrets" thinking I would entirely understand.
 

woodpig

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You really need to know how much it costs per hour to run your workshop and price accordingly. This must include the cost of lighting, heating, rent, insurance, consumables, etc etc including your own hourly "wages". Once you've worked this out you can price any job. One of my old bosses used to do this once a year to maintain profitable. Don't forget to add some profit as well, just covering your costs is obviously not enough!
 

Jacob

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Smithy":2jl5kpz6 said:
Hi

Thanks for the reply. The people concerned want me to copy turn six to match the originals which are in oak. They have looked everywhere but cannot find anyone prepared to do it. I suspect some would bump the price up in this situation. But I am useless at pricing. I always think the making is easier than the pricing.

Smithy
Accurate copying is very specialist. Even copy lathes often don't do it well. So charge plenty £20 or more each - explain it's a specialist task but they could have cheaper but not so good.
Then make sure your copies are perfect even if it takes a day each. By the end of it you will be churning them out quicker and will have become a skilled turner with lots of clients wanting the same sort of specialist skill.
 

Smithy

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Hi

Once again thanks to all for your very constructive comments. It seems I would have been selling myself cheap. I had thought 40 Euros for the six but my wife said I was being stupid and it seems she was right. I will now up the price accordingly.

Mike
 

finneyb

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Smithy":6qiqhivx said:
Hi

Once again thanks to all for your very constructive comments. It seems I would have been selling myself cheap. I had thought 40 Euros for the six but my wife said I was being stupid and it seems she was right. I will now up the price accordingly.

Mike
Wife's are normally right :) So I'm told :)

Brian
 

woodbrains

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Hello,

Another way of looking at it is; if the client loves the 6 you do and says 'I have a friend who wants to redo their stairs and wants 100 just like mine' would the price you charged make your heart sink? If so, you are too cheap!

Mike.
 
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